The Blue Bulls scored 11 tries in an effortless 69-19 trampling over a vulnerable Cavaliers outfit, in their Currie Cup fixture at Loftus Versfeld on Friday evening.
Rugby 365 reports that the bonus-point victory sees the Bulls regain their favoured position at the top of the tournament standings after 11 rounds.
It really was a romp for the Blue Bulls and they did it smiling, almost skittishly, none of the grim dour of subdue and penetrate. This was fun. It was profitable fun, and then in the last 11 minutes the Bolanders also decided that it could be fun and they started running around like eager terriers and scored three tries which gave a wrong impression of the difference between the two teams. It was in fact bigger than 50 points.
The one place where the Cavaliers did well was in the scrums. That sounds odd but the youthful Boland front row of Jacobie Adriaanse, Harry Vermaas and Janro van Niekerk won against the Blue Bulls and Rayno Gerber suffered an uncomfortable night. Nor did it get easier when aged Andries Human came on late in the match and joined in with youthful enthusiasm.
But the match was not about scrums; it was all about tries – 14 of them. The Blue Bulls had scored their bonus-point try in the first half an hour.
That meant that in 16 minutes they scored four tries.
They attacked right from the start and it seemed strange that it took them 14 minutes to get a try. When it came it was so simple. The Blue Bulls had three consecutive five-metre scrums. From the third – far on their right – they went left and Morné Steyn stepped inside Elgar Watts and was past Zolani Mofu to skid over for the try, which he converted.
A minute later the home side had its second try.
Boland battled in the line-outs. The won one, lost one, threw one in skew and then batted one straight into touch. That gave the Blue Bulls a line-out which they won on the right. The ball went with long -passes to John Mametsa on the left. He dashed grubbered, hared after the ball, picked it up and scored. 12-0 after 15 minutes.
They nearly scored from the kick-off and were stopped at the line. A route was on the cards.
Juts inside the Blue Bulls half the Boland went wide to the right but Dewey Swartbooi dropped the ball. Mametsa was onto it in a flash and footed far ahead. the ball stood up for him and he raced on eventually scoring on the right .Steyn converted from touch. 19-0 after 24 minutes.
Boland had their moments of attack that included a five-metre scrum but Angelo Brinkhuis went offside and the next thing the Blue Bulls were attacking on the left. Mametsa was close and then Tiger Mangweni was left free on the right to stroll over, sag to his knees and score. 26-0 after 30 minutes.
From a line-out on the left Mametsa cut through Swartbooi’s leaky defence and sent Marius Delport with just a stroll to score at the posts. 33-0 after 37 minutes. Simple passing to the left gave right wing Akona Ndungane a try in the left corner. 38-0, the score at half-time.
The romp continued in the second half. After Mangweni had spun out of tackles he set Derick Kuün running. Mametsa carried it on and then they went right. Delport could have scored but instead sent Wilhelm Steenkamp, Boland born and bred, in for the first of his two tries in the match. 43-0 after 44 minutes.
Wayne Julies got the next one. Kuün threw over a line-out to Wikus van Heerden who ran strongly through the porous Boland defence. The captain gave to Julies who enjoyed scoring near the posts. Steyn Converted and was then replaced by Burton Francis.
Francis scored with his first touch of the ball when the Blue Bulls attacked. Francis dummied past Mofu and then swept past Bradley Mockford top score a try he converted. 57-0 with still a half an hour to play.
At this stage Renfred Deyzel of Boland was given a yellow card for a high tackle on Ndungane. Later Francis received one for tackling Lionel Cornelius high and then with two minutes to go Pedrie Wannenburg was given one for a late, armless tackle. It was silly and out of tune with the general melody of the match.
The Blue Bulls attacked again. Things were scrappy on the Boland line but Gürthro Steenkamp, who had a lively match, confirming his stated delight to be back in the Blue Bull family, was credited with a try in the left corner. 62-0 after 56 minutes.
When Boland tried to run the ball Swartbooi again lost it and Heini Adams snatched it up. He gave to Wannenburg who charged. He gave it to Gürthro Steenkamp who charged even further with great impetus. He gave toto Wilhelm Steenkamp who, ankletapped by Marnus Hugo, bounced over for a try. Zane Kirchner converted. 69-0 with 15 minutes to play.
This 15 minutes belonged to Boland. They got everybody involved an intense attack and eventually Watts wandered over for the try, which Cornelius converted.
Back Boland came in a long attack of bits and pieces that often seemed about to break down but eventually Cornelius ducked between Delport and Mametsa to score. 69-12.
And still they were not done as two penalties gave them two five-metre line-outs. They attacked and were close on the far left. The ball came back and Janro van Niekerk barged his way over from close quarters after the siren had sounded. Cornelius converted.
For the Boland it was a pleasing ending, giving them hope for the time to come when these amateurs have to fight to ward off relegation.
For the Bulls:
Tries: Steyn, Mametsa 2, Mangweni, Delport, Ndungane, W Steenkamp 2, Julies, Francis, G Steenkamp.
Cons: Steyn 5, Francis, Kirchner
Tries: Watts, Cornelius, Van Niekerk
Cons: Cornelius 2
Blue Bulls: 15 Tiger Mangweni, 14 Akona Ndungane, 13 Marius Delport, 12 Wayne Julies, 11 John Mametsa, 10 Morné Steyn, 9 Fourie du Preez, 8 Dewald Potgieter, 7 Wikus van Heerden (captain), 6 Pedrie Wannenburg, 5 Wilhelm Steenkamp, 4 Juandré Kruger, 3 Rayno Gerber, 2 Derick Kuün, 1 Gurthrö Steenkamp.
Replacements: 16 Bandise Maku, 17 Werner Kruger, 18 Victor Matfield, 19 Pierre Spies, 20 Heini Adams, 21 Burton Francis, 22 Zane Kirchner.
Boland Cavaliers: 15 Justin Peach, 14 Alshaun Bock, 13 Piet van Zyl (captain), 12 Dewey Swartbooi, 11 Renfred Dazel, 10 Elgar Watts, 9 Danie van der Merwe, 8 Whalied Heyns, 7 Zolani Mofu, 6 Angelo Brinkhuis, 5 Bradley Mockford, 4 Nico Esterhuyse, 3 Jacobie Adriaanse, 2 Harry Vermaas, 1 Janro van Niekerk.
Replacements: 16 Pieter Wium, 17 Andries Human, 18 Cecil Kemp, 19 Wendell Wehr, 20 Marnus Hugo, 21 Lionel Cornelius, 22 Deon Scholtz.